Sunday, May 28, 2023

Thankful For Our Freedom And Then Some

Last weekend's Ten Things of Thankful was really just one big thankful that I had survived what I THOUGHT was catastrophic car problems and which turned out to be, um, a little less serious than that. You can read it here if you haven't already.

This week's list will be anticlimactic by comparison, but I'm not complaining!

I'm thankful for fresh strawberries It's that time of year!

I'm thankful for strawberry shortcake made with those fresh strawberries.

I'm also thankful for strawberry pretzel salad, which is NOT made from fresh strawberries but from frozen ones, but it's rich and delicious (and not a salad at all, really), and I was able to satisfy a craving for it this weekend

I'm thankful for delightful weather this past week and weekend. Warm, sunny days. Cool, breezy nights.

I'm thankful for walks around the neighborhood in beautiful weather, especially when they include long visits with neighbors.

I'm thankful one of my favorite thrift stores has their books priced at 5/$1.00. I bought 15 books, all of them brand new and from Dolly Parton's  Imagination Library

I'm thankful for season passes to Silver Dollar City. We ran out there this afternoon to see The Cleverlys, a bluegrass band that we are very fond of and which was playing this weekend as part of the Bluegrass & BBQ festival. We're even thinking about running out there again tomorrow morning to see their first set.

I'm thankful the cats are getting along this weekend. Our grandcat Calvin has been staying with us for a few days, and we were able to nab him (actually, he's easy to nab) plus Nora Pearl and Lewis (more of a challenge to nab), load them into their carriers, and bring them with us to the lake house. They are being quite harmonious. Finn declined to join us on this trip, hiding under the bed when he realized what was going down, then slithering out to locations unknown when I tried to reach him from his spot exactly in the middle underneath the queen-sized bed. I know HE will be thankful when we get home.

Nora Pearl without a worry in the world

I'm thankful my dad has finally agreed to use a walker to get around the house instead of pushing a rolly office chair in front of him, which is obviously not a safe choice.

I'm thankful that my dad wasn't hurt worse than he was when he, and I quote him, "shot off the end of the treadmill" at cardiac rehab. He was trying to set the machine to 1.5 mph and instead hit 15 mph. He also forgot to clip himself to the treadmill. He has a scrape on his elbow and is plenty sore all over, but that seems to be the worst of it, and hopefully, he learned a lesson!

I'm thankful for all who gave their lives for our country and whom we honor this Memorial Day.

You can still join in on this week's Ten Things of Thankful! Write a list and link up! And be looking for our 10th Birthday Bash at the TToT set for the weekend of June 9-11!

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Sunday, May 21, 2023

When Bad Things Happen To Daffy People

Well, LAST weekend, I thought Sunday was second Saturday because I don’t work on Mondays during the summer and this makes sense to ME but probably not to you. Bottom line: forgot to post a Ten Things of Thankful.

THIS weekend, I am in Nashville, staying with my Person, Terri, and having lots of girl time. I had lunch today with my friend Janice. Yesterday, Terri and I had lunch with our old buddy Larry. Tonight, we are hanging out with Marianne. There will be much laughing, talking, and eating over the next couple of days, and my cup will be full. There’s much to be thankful for in all this, but I got one even bigger thankful to share. Here’s the story:

I left really early for my lunch date with Janice today; so early, in fact, that I decided to go get that pesky low tire pressure light checked out. Through a series of unfortunate events, my five minute tire pressure check turned into an hour long ordeal of stuck caps on the stemmy part of the tire and a broken tire sensor (their fault, not mine), and I was running late to meet Janice.

When the tire sensor was finally repaired, I had five minutes to make a 15 minute drive. I told Janice I was on my way, hopped on the freeway, and floored it (NOTE: I believe I have been late every single time I have EVER gotten together with Janice over the past 35 years, so she couldn't have been terribly surprised by this).

I was booking it down the interstate when there was a terrible THUNK sound from somewhere within the car, it began to shake, and then drastically slow down. I had no power anything, particularly steering, but I managed to wrestle the enormous beast to the shoulder before rolling to a stop. 

I was terrified.

I messaged Janice first and told her what happened, my entire body trembling as cars sped past me. I finally reached a person at AAA when a small truck pulled up behind me. I panicked further, thinking it was some scammer who was going to offer to fix my car for an exorbitant amount of money. "It says "TOOT HELP" in the front window, but I'm scared," I told the AAA woman. Waaaaait a minute. NOT "TOOT" but "TDOT"! It was someone from the Tennessee Department of Transporation! I was saved!

I accidentally hung up on the AAA woman as my knight in a shining TDOT uniform flipped on the giant detour arrow on the back of his truck and came to my window to see what the problem was. I described the thunk and the car dying. He looked under the hood to check the battery connection, then had me try to start the car. It made weird starty noises, but that was it. "Could be a fuel line problem," he said. "Maybe your fuel pump. You wouldn't be low on gas, would you?" 

"The fuel light was on," I told him, "but it's showing I have 1/8 of a tank of gas, so it can't be that." 

"I'm just going to put a little gas in the tank and see if that helps at all," he said. He poured some gas in the tank, asked me to try starting it again, and....


"Hmmm," I said, then hid my face in the steering wheel.

"Aw, it happens," the TDOT guy said as a second TDOT truck pulled up behind him. "I'm going to follow you to the nearest gas station. Wait, on second thought, you follow me and this guy will follow you."

And so I was escorted back onto the freeway and to the nearest gas station (an Exxon, which I ordinarily boycott because Valdez oil spill, but I had to sacrifice my personal convictions this one time for a full tank gas), a little parade with me flanked by two TDOT vehicles, giant arrows flashing, all the way to the gas station. Terri met me there to make sure everything was okay (it was), my hero checked under the hood one more time, and after the car triumphantly started with a tummy full of gas, he rode off into the sunset, but not before I gave him a giant hug. God bless TDOT and God bless my hero of the highway!

A file photo from TDOT showing the two types of
roadside assistance vehicles that made up my 
motorcade to the Exxon station

I made it to lunch only an hour late, and I'd like to say Janice was surprised by this as much as she was by the crazy events of  the morning, but nah (I once accidentally threw my fork out the restaurant window when we were having lunch). Really, no one was, including my new friend from TDOT.

No friends like old friends

If you happened to read my A to Z Challenge entry for "X" you may notice some striking coincidences between this story and that one....

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Sunday, May 7, 2023

Aunt, Ants, and Antics

You know you're getting old when writing a blog post every day for a month leaves you physically exhausted as though you had done a triathlon or something. Not that I ever would do a triathlon, or even know what one is, exactly, but I was trying to think of something that sounded really physically demanding. The A to Z Challenge is over for another year. though, and I can go back to my slovenly writing habits, and I'll start with this week's Ten Things of Thankful.

1. My niece got married last weekend, and I was blessed to be able to contribute to her day by helping with flowers (I know nothing about flower arranging, but by golly, I arranged some flowers!) and anything else that came up. Congratulations and best wishes to Maggie and Ryan!

My daughter with her cousins Drew and Eli

With my mini me

Final touch put on the bouquets

The newlyweds

2. Shout out to Airbnb for never letting me down with accommodations. 

3. Our Airbnb had three bedrooms with comfy beds, so my husband, daughter, and I each had our own big bed that we didn't have to share. It was delightful! It's amazing how well I sleep when I'm not sharing a bed with three large cats and an even larger husband.

4. I found a dollar in the bottom of my purse when I was frantically searching for my work keys. 

5. I found the work keys in a different bag.

6. I found my ear buds that I didn't know I had lost when I found the work keys.

7. I don't think anything else is missing at this time.

8. I have ants in my kitchen as I do every spring, but this time, the Terro seems to be working. Last year they lapped it up, fell in it drunk, ran back and got their friends to come to the party, and never died unless I squished them with my finger until I treated the outside foundation of the house. 

9. I'm thankful for salad kits from Aldi and Walmart. They're tasty, quick, and I'm putting something in my body that actually comes from a food group.

10. I had a marvelous time doing backstage security at a Jesse McCartney concert Friday night at the university where I work. All employees got an email asking for volunteers, and my friend and I signed up for the security job as soon as the email landed in our inbox. Whoosh - we were in! We had way too much fun pretending to be tough and grateful that we didn't actually have to do anything remotely tough.

Stabby pen and walkie talkies 

No one dared rush the stage with us there....

This would be Jesse McCartney

And this would be us taking selfies
instead of protecting Jesse McCartney

I hope you had more antics than ants in your week. If you've never joined the Ten Things of Thankful, please consider it next weekend! 

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